Hi PNMS! Let’s discuss parties! Many thanks to the Duchess for having me, so sorry but since I am a current recruitment chair I can’t give my name but I CAN tell you that my university has one of the largest greek life organizations in the United States and it is south of the Mason Dixon line!
So let’s get down to business: Rush Parties.
Each school has different ways of scheduling parties (morning vs evening, 1 day vs 2 days) so I plan on talking about parties in the general sense of their “types.” Parties I will be covering today are 1) the open house, 2) philanthropy day, 3) skit night, 4) pref night. Some universities throw in a house tour or financial day but those that do dedicate an entire day to those topics are in the minority so I will not be covering those. If you have any questions pertaining to those specific days just email the Duchess and she can contact me, we have to go through her since I cannot give out my contact information due to Rush.
Here we go!
Open House day usually means you will visit every single house for a short period. This day is long and if you’re in the south it’s sweltering. These parties are the shortest of the week and in my opinion the worst. I hate having to make a decision on a PNM within 10-15 minutes. But that’s the nature of the beast so best foot forward. While it is the current member’s job to keep the conversation going you want to have a couple conversation topics in your back pocket. A few of my favorite are: Getting involved in student organizations on campus, first football game of the year and (she asked me to throw this in) the Duchess’ personal back up for this year, The Olympics. Try to stay away from what you did in high school and what you did this summer, everyone talks about these things and they get old: fast. Plus the member you are talking to has already memorized your resume and chances are she has something in common with you. If she brings up high school or summer by all means follow along but you want to bring up other interesting things!
For my lovely ladies in the sweltering heat please do not be embarrassed if you are a tad sweaty when you walk in the house, everyone is hot and the current members know you will be “glistening” because they had to go through it too. Make sure to bring water in your bag, blotting papers, and go to Target right now and purchase a mini battery operated fan. Everyone will look at you with envy and then show up the next day with the same thing. Trust me.
Philanthropy day is when the different sororities tell you about their national and local philanthropies they support. Every single member is incredibly dedicated to their service and the best thing you can do on these days is to ask questions about the fundraisers they put on during the year and to be interested in the facts they present. Some chapters have a small craft to do while they educate you, some play a slide show and some have people talk to you. Whatever the day holds please act with respect because every single girl in that chapter has been touched by their philanthropy and they will take any slight personally.
If you have a personal connection to the chapter’s philanthropy this is the perfect day to bring that up. Please do not make up a “grandmother” who received the Girl Scout Gold Award, a summer trip to help kids learn to read, or work with terminally ill children. You can “stretch” a connection. I had a friend who’s best friends mother died of breast cancer who spoke about how the disease affected her friend and through her friend she saw the need for research. That is perfectly fine, but please do not make things up.
Skit night is probably the chapter’s favorite night! The women who are performing for you have worked very hard for weeks so enjoy it! They are usually filled with funny sketches, amazing dances and beautiful singing. The member who is “assigned” to you on that specific night will be watching you so make sure to show your emotion: laugh, gasp, clap etc. The women who are not in the skit offer a great opportunity to see which parts they like the best. They have seen this skit before so some of the laughter or yelling will be sort of tepid when compared to the parts that they like the best! Those are the times when the laughter is incredibly genuine and the clapping and “woo hoo’s” are louder! Pick up on those times because you can discuss them after the skit!
Make sure to compliment some part of the show. Like I said the women put a lot of extra time into this and it is a big source of pride for the chapters. I do not ever recommend lying to the member you are talking to, but if the skit you just say was particularly funny or creative (more so than the others you saw) tell them! Please do not over do it but a well placed compliment goes a long way!
Pref Night is the last night of parties. These parties are the longest and sometimes include refreshments. Please eat them! Usually the women are not supposed to eat unless you do and I remember loving when my PNMs would start to eat their dessert when I was rushing them! When you are picked up at the door on Pref Night you will usually recognize the member who brings you in. This girl probably scored you high on a previous day and wanted to see you again! This is the time to ask any lingering questions you have. So you can be sure to get a feel for the house. This is what I stretch to every PNM I ever have contact with. The best house for you might not necessarily be the “best” house on campus, the “smartest” house on campus or the “most fun” house on campus. You want to be in a house where you feel at home. I know this sounds cheesy but you will notice it by Pref Night. There is going to be one house where you feel the most comfortable and where you feel like you “click” with all the members you have talked to. This is the house you want.
You are allowed to tell the member how you feel. If this is house for you tell them that. Tell them why you like the house, if you have already made your decision and anything else you are feeling. No member is allowed to give you an “oral bid” which you will find out about during your Recruitment Orientation so please do not try to ‘trick’ them into making one.
The best advice I want to give you about Recruitment is to be yourself because then the perfect house for you will become obvious.
Thank you so much Duchess! Good Luck to all the PNMs!
Thanks so much for the wonderful post love! Don’t forget to check out the other Rush posts! Don’t know what to wear to the parties our Recruitment Chair just talked about? Then check out the what to wear post by Cait from Southern Curls and Pearls! Other Rush posts: Rush 101 and Rush first impressions!
Look for next week’s Rush post, the top ten tips from ten different recruitment chairs around the nation!